Where are they now


About Malibu Divers & its past people

In over 40 years of diving and fun, Malibu Divers has had some of the most talented and interesting people on the planet pass through its doors. Former staff and instructors are now doctors, PhD's, lawyers (we try not to hold that against them), boat captains, medical professionals (Physician's Assistants, Nurses), writers, musicians and more. Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't call, email or stop in and say "I was trained to dive by one of our instructors and it was such a great experience.  (Come join us, we're always on the outlook for the next Malibu Diver, contact us.)

Enjoy and see where they are now!

 Mike Bright
Mike 'Bones' Bright the original owner of Malibu Divers from 1969 to 1979. Mike was an outstanding athlete in volleyball, and waterman of Surfing, Paddleboarding, and Scuba Diving. A State Champion in Beach Doubles Volleyball and a 3 time Olympic participant, once in paddling, twice in volleyball. And who glassed boards for Bing Copeland, Rick Stoner, Greg Noll, Dewey Weber, Sonny Vardeman, Hap Jacobs, Dick Mobley and others.  Bright was also a multi-winner of the Catalina-to-Manhattan Beach Paddle Board Race. In 1955, Bright, after 32 miles on an 18 foot paddle board winning the Catalina-Palos Verdes-Manhattan Beach paddle board race played volleyball all day to help win the Manhattan Beach Six-Man Tournament. He did this on several occasions, including in 1964, when the event was two-man. Mike Bright, five time winner of the Manhattan Beach Men’s Open, was an All-American from 1960-1964. He played on the 1964 Olympic Team and on the 1960 Pan Am Team.  In 2006, Mike was elected to the Surfers Wall of Fame, and in 1993 the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Mike married Patti Bright, also a gifted volleyball player, and has three daughters, Jodi, Lari and Bonnie, and a son, David. Mike retired and live with his family in San Diego, CA until he passed away on September 22, 2017. A paddle-out at Hermosa Beach was held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 28. Bonnie has formed a Mike Bright Beach Volleyball Foundation to provide beach volleyball scholarship money to Bright VBC’s college-bound players. Donations can be made to US Bank, Mike Bright Beach Volleyball Foundation Routing # 122235821 Account # 157513852564.
Lynn Freeman & Jodi Freeman
Lynn Freeman became the second owner and bought Malibu Divers from Mike Bright in 1979.  Jodi joined soon after and they have been together ever since.  In a thoughtful moment (or delusion) the Freeman's sold Malibu Divers to Carter when they decided they wanted to move with their son to Montana. Having since come to their senses, they have returned to the local Malibu area.  Lynn is an accomplished writer and editor, pilot, builder of planes, flying and diving instructor and an awesome competitive ping pong player (he told me to say that).  He is the definition of practical joker and humorist (see photo at the top of the page; the rumor is Jodi won the bet).  He still dives occasionally when he is hungry.  Jodi, who is also a dive instructor and boat captain, is always on the go with all her outdoors loves - diving, surfing, snow boarding, hiking, camping, photography, and on and on. Because she loves a good laugh - her and Lynn were a dynamic duo.

Bob Perry 
Worked summers for Mike Bright both in the shop and serving as divemaster for the regular summer friday dive trips on Art Burnett's 'Sea Bee' out of Channel Islands harbor. Later he worked for his pal Lyn Freeman. Bob was an active dive instructor for 10 years and worked with Malibu Divers to provide all levels of PADI instruction to Santa Monica High students and adults alike. Bob later owned and operated a 32-food Radon dive boat called the "Sandy Bay" and ran open water instruction and photographic trips. Several of his students became dive instructors and some are still very active in the world of marine science and adventures.

Bob was a regular full time Biology and Marine Biology teacher both at Santa Monica High and later at Malibu High. He retired from teaching in June, 2014 and devotes himself to marine photography in the Santa Barbara Channel. On Facebook: You can find him here. 

 Pat Proft & Lisa Proft
Pat, former Malibu Diver SCUBA instructor turned political consultant turned screenwriter turned stay-at-home dad turned daycare center operator. Along the way finding time to become a husband, father of two, evangelic Christian and a black belt in Jujitsu. After a five-year break, he is trying to make a go as a screen writer again. Lisa, also a certified diver, graduated West Los Angeles School of Law and passed the State Bar of California in 1997. She works for the County of Los Angeles as a Probate Attorney. Lisa and her husband Patrick and two boys, in addition to community and church ministries, Lisa and Pat are very involved in various martial arts.
 Ken Loewen
Ken, former Malibu Diver Scuba Instructor, is married with young daughter living in Austin Texas and working as Certified Public Accountant, and Certified Management Accountant. Currently a Senior Manager in Global Consulting Knowledge Management at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Just passed 10 years with Deloitte, including a five-year break in service when he worked on Microsoft’s internal mergers & acquisitions team and as CFO of a Microsoft subsidiary in Paris.
Mason Dragatto Devon
Mason, was in Aquanauts, an Actress (including PADI/EFR training videos), PADI Divemaster and Malibu Diver staff par excellence. She studied Marine Biology at UC Irvine then moved to Hawaii to work at a biology lab. Mason's deep affection for Sharks and their conservation, she continues to try to educate people she meets that they an endangered species and should be protected. She has dove with Tiger Sharks, Hammerheads, Oceanic Whitetips and more. She is a certified Physician Assistant. 
Matthew Addison
Matt, former Malibu Diver, is an active TDI Instructor Trainer (2012 TDI "Outstanding Instructor Award") and PADI Master Instructor; he is a Factory Instructor Trainer Trainer for the (rebreather) Hollis Prism 2 and Hollis Explorer. He has been working with Hollis on the Prism 2 project since they bought the design from Peter Readey. Prior to that he was a test diver for Peter Readey on the original Prism Topaz, and has owned 3 Prism Topaz's, and presently own "Frankenstien", a blue Prism Topaz that has been around the world several times and looks every bit of it's 2000+ dive hours. Current home is in Texas.

 Jeb Corliss
Professional BASE jumper and wing-suit pilot and former Malibu Diver instructor; At 16 years old he discovered SCUBA, the thrills and adventure keep coming. Over 12 years experience, 1000 base jumps, 16 countries on 5 continents, over 10 years wing-suit flying experience with over 1000 wing-suit flights; he was featured on ABC 20/20 June 1st 2010 special report entitled “Super Humans”.
SuzyJo Dwyer
Former Malibu Diver Instructor, she lives in Key West, Florida with dog Dude. She is a charter boat captain taking tourists sailing and snorkeling and she also work at the local hospital as an emergency room nurse. 

Josh Heiber
Josh, former Malibu Diver Scuba Instructor, and graduate of Calabasas High School, he became a Research Associate at Ceres, Inc in Thousand Oaks, CA. At the University of Miami he earned his PHd at the Miller School of Medicine where he developed transgenic oncolytic viruses for use as a cancer therapeutics. Currently, a Post Doctoral Fellow in Memphis, Tennessee at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on Tumor biology - Retargeting CTL as a therapeutic for hematological disease and Immunology - Gene function in regulatory T cells as it relates to the differentiation of the lineage and outcomes in autoimmune models.

Kevin McAfee 
Currently, a Fire Captain with Maui Fire Department, Hawaiian Islands for Public Safety and Corporate Trainer for Dive Rescue International, Inc. He is the President of the, Kapalua Dive Company, Inc. Previously, he was a Malibu Diver SCUBA Instructor and commercial boat captain, a Deputy Sheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and in the United States Marine Corps he served in Force Recon. 

Kevin Penn  

After leaving Malibu Divers, Kevin headed out to the east coast where he was a Research Associate at The Institute for Genomic Research.  During that time participated in NOAA expeditions to study the microbial communities associated with deep-sea coral reefs and hydrothermal vents.  He then headed back west where completed his PhD in marine biology.  His thesis was based on studies of bacteria found only in tropical waters that make novel types of drugs that are being developed for the treatment of human diseases such as Cancer.  He is currently working as a National Science Foundation fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigating how climate change plays a role in increased incidences of coral disease and harmful algal blooms on tropical reefs.

Thor Nelson

David Hicken 
Past Malibu Diver store manager, and an avid scuba diver (and certified PADI Master Instructor), David has been diving in exotic locations such as the Cayman Islands, Belize, Mexico, Tahiti, Thailand, Sri Lanka, California, as well as Hawaii. After living in Asia, and both coasts of the United States, David now lives with his wife and daughter in the famous surfing town of Haleiwa, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He composes and records in his studio which overlooks the ocean and mountains, and in his free time, he can be seen cycling around the mountains and shorelines of his beloved North Shore. 
 Joaquim Haven  
Rik Serrano   
Marshall Coben   
Nick Kummer   

Naomi Valenzuela
Naomi is a graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree in Rhetoric. She also studied Spanish and American Sign Language, and worked as a Sign Language interpreter. She has worked with children of all ages, teaching water sports, life skills, and art, and has supervised our Boy Scout summer scuba camps. She hopes to use her Sign Language and teaching skills and an interdisciplinary approach to facilitate the growth and development of children with ASD. She is PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and has worked in several places around the world as an instructor and as a dive guide, including Hawaii, the Caribbean, Indonesia, the Virgin Islands, and Catalina Island, CA.  

Travis Barnes 
A marketing professional with a strong background in event production and program development. He rounded out his skills and background in non-profits, large tech companies, and independent media outlets. Look to him for creative and cooperative solutions to business or non-profit problems, and he's happy to function as team lead or team player in creative group settings. 

He also was the Marketing Director at Boy Scouts of America, Western Los Angeles County Council and now is Operations Specialist at Adecco at Google. 
Pierre Simenon
Born in 1959 in Lausanne, Switzerland, Pierre Simenon graduated from the University of Geneva and Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International Studies with a License in economics and a Diploma in International Economics, respectively. After working as a financial analyst and portfolio manager at Lombard, Odier & Cie, a Swiss private bank, he left for the United States in 1987, where he obtained an M.B.A from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Boston University. In 1992, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a business and entertainment attorney, first at Hill Wynne Troop & Meisinger and then at Loeb & Loeb. A novelist and diving instructor for Malibu Divers, as well as shark enthusiast and history buff, Pierre Simenon left the practice of law and lived in Malibu, California, with his wife and two children. His first novel, "Au nom du sang versé", was published in French in 2010 and has since been translated in Spanish, German, Italian and Greek. He is currently working on his second novel and moved to Burlington, Vermont.
Stephen Tropp
 Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Tropp went to work for the New York firm of Shea & Gould handling intellectual property litigation matters for clients such as Warner Bros., the Washington Redskins, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel. After a short stint in-house, Mr. Tropp became head of the intellectual property section at the LA-based firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. He handled a wide variety of entertainment litigation and transactional matters for diverse clients such as Barbra Streisand, Capitol Records, House of Blues, author Douglas Adams, and Michael Douglas. Mr. Tropp then divided his time between teaching copyright, entertainment, and sports law at McGeorge School of Law, and his practice in Los Angeles representing actors, writers, directors and independent producers in a wide range of film and TV projects.He also taught at Barry University Law School at Miami Shores, Florida. He then moved to Israel to pursue new opportunities and returned back to Los Angeles became Of Counsel: Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, LLP.

Steve was a PADI MSDT, Technical Instructor, and friend to us all.  He passed away on May 23, 2015 and will be greatly missed. For more shared memories and photos, please join and visit his memorial facebook page.

Alejandro Moreno
 A former Malibu Divers Instructor, Alejandro traded Malibu for grad school and now lives in Washington, DC. This isn't quite as bad as it sounds. He definitely doesn't get to do nearly enough diving, but he met his wonderful wife and spends his days working for the World Bank, helping countries around the world develop better and more sustainable electricity sectors.